We had the good fortune of connecting with Tracy Foltz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tracy, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I had never thought of myself as a risk taker but a few years ago I realized that I was always the one to say sure, I’ll try it. I love trying new things, I’m not afraid of change and as long as I don’t think it’ll kill me, I’ll give it a try. Seven years ago my husband Tim and I embarked on a new adventure that seemed crazy to all our friends — we closed our life in the Midwest and started over in Arizona. We lived on Main Street in a small town where we knew everyone and everyone knew us, we both worked for family owned small businesses who treated us well and we had a good life. But the kids had scattered literally across the globe and didn’t care where we lived anymore. It was our time to adventure. We bought a house online, sold our house on Main St., quit our jobs, sold what we could and loaded the rest in U Hauls and headed west. That three day journey with 4 dogs and a parrot in the heat of summer was incredibly stressful, exciting and has turned out amazing! We came to Arizona with a plan but no jobs. So we took a few weeks to get our bearings and get the plan rolling. Part of that plan was for Tim to get a job and for me to see what could be done with my art. I hit the farmers markets first and then moved up to art shows, built an online presence, dove into marketing and somehow created a thriving business. That first adventure has now led to another – Tim has retired from his lifetime career in the trucking industry and will now run that accidental business so I can go back to what I love most – painting fun and happy art.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
While I have always created art, art was not the life path I followed early on. Living in the Midwest, making a living from art was not even a consideration. I married young, had four amazing children, divorced and needed to make ends meet. Despite my creative mind, I enjoyed a career as an Executive Assistant until our life change and found it very fulfilling. Those skills have also contributed heavily to creating my own business. I was able to feed my creative mind by painting everything around me. I painted floors, walls, furniture, and doors. Running parallel to my artistic outlet was a passion for gardening and I always joke my kids grew up eating paint and dirt because those things made it to the kitchen sink way more than food ever did. Thank goodness I wasn’t raising foodies! Even though I did not at first create a life from my art, I’ve never regretted the life path I followed. I believe that my art expresses itself so freely now because it was allowed to age with me and has now reached its time.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Arizona has so many fun, interesting and exciting things to do that I’m not sure it could all be done in a week but it’s well worth trying. Beginning in Tucson, we would spend a morning at the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum followed by lunch downtown at el Charro for an authentic Mexican meal. After filling up on chips and salsa and all things Mexican, we’d hop on the street car for a tour of downtown and 4th Avenue ending the day at The B Line for another great meal. The next morning we would head to the other side of town beginning with breakfast on the patio at Poco & Mom’s Cantina followed by an information filled tram ride in Sabino Canyon. The next day we would head to the top of Mt. Lemmon for some cooler air, a nice hike in the pine trees and late lunch on the patio of the Iron Door. The next day would be Reid Park Zoo and the Tucson Botanical Gardens with dinner on the patio of another great restaurant. After a good rest from all the outdoor walking, we would begin the next day with a sunrise hike at Catalina State Park. After working up an appetite, breakfast at Tohono Chul would be next and a tour of their gardens. After a day of rest and hanging out at home, we would make one last trek to Madera Canyon for some bird watching then head to Tubac for lunch and an afternoon of shopping.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Without a doubt, my husband Tim has been the most important part of my success in not just my career, but life.